Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday sought assistance from provincial governors in his campaign against illegal drugs, as he again lashed out at the Church for criticizing him.
In remarks during an oath-taking ceremony for new police officials in Malacañang, Duterte said he met with the provincial governors to inform them about the drug problem.
“The enormity of the problem is staggering. The consequence and the result of this industry has destroyed millions of Filipinos,” he said.
The President said many officials, especially those in local government, were involved in the illegal drug trade, becoming millionaires overnight.
“In one month’s time, they own hotels, ships, good life. Their kids study in Australia, America. Why? Because they go around as war lords,” Duterte said.
Duterte outed another elected official in his so-called “narcolist” and said nearly 40 percent of barangay (village) officials in the country were linked to drugs.
He read the name of Licerio Antiporada, said to be a village chief in Cagayan Valley.
Philippine National Police Chief Ronald de la Rosa said that unlike an earlier meeting with mayors, Duterte did not threaten the governors or utter expletives.
Duterte again blasted Catholic Church officials critical of the alleged extrajudicial killings being linked to his drug war.
He said the Church did not help the campaign against illegal drugs despite the millions in collections its parishes receive.
“What did the Church do? … Where is the money of the people? We in government explain how money is spent to the people. How about you? You priests, bishops, you have nice clothes, cars. Have you built at least one house with five rooms for rehab?” Duterte said in Filipino.